It was 1959, I was 19 years old fresh out
of business school. I was a Moran then and had two brothers working for
Mother PONYA. My brothers encouraged me to get a job at the PA. So, off
I went on the Bronx #2 train to 111 Eighth Avenue. A trip that ended in
me working for an iconic agency whose Executive Director Austin J. Tobin
was a legend in his time. It was a continuation of a family tradition
started in the late 1940’s when my brother became a PA Police Officer.
I worked at 111 for George Melinette in
the Real Estate Department. When I married in 1963 and became pregnant,
I left the job I loved to become a full-time Mom. The years passed but I
always kept in touch with my PA family.
In 1969, my husband became the first Percival to join the PA. Bobby
(“Percy” “Popeye”) worked as a PO at LGA until February 1994 when he
retired. You can see “Percy” carved in the cement outside of Post 21--
In 1981, I decided it was time to go
home. Once again, I took the #2 train but this time, I went to 1WTC and
surprisingly after 18 years, I was hired again. Rita Dubrow asked me if
I would like my old ID #04581 and I said yes. So, here I was 41 years
old with an employee number beginning in 0!! Need I say, how many
awkward moments that created when promotion lists came out and people
said “poor thing” took her forever to pass.
I interviewed with Allegra Opoulos at the
PABT and was hired as her secretary. The beginning of my second time
around. This time it lasted 24+ years. The best years of my life because
I made a PA family whom I love as if they were my blood family. The fun
times and camaraderie could not be counted. But, let me ask you “old
timers” -- Do you remember the “Blues Brothers” and the party at the
Pier? If so, you know the best times.
Sadly, in 1998 after a short retirement, my husband Bobby passed away.
There is a beautiful stone memorial outside the PO Station at LGA with a
plaque inscribed with a poem to “Popeye”. By that time, our three sons
had joined the PA family.
I retired in 2005 in the position at the
PABT held by Allegra Opoulos Lockett when she hired me in 1981. Of that,
I am very proud.
For over 70 of the PA’s 100 years, there
has been a member of my family employed by the PA. There are two left.
Our oldest son Robert (“Percy Jr”) retired in 2015 from LGA as did his
Dad. Our other sons have enjoyed wonderful careers and there are years
left for our youngest John, a PATH Engineer. Michael is a Manager in
Treasury. If there are no more, we certainly will have had a great run.